Social Media Strategy: Start Small. Finish Big.

Author: Jeff Coon

Grow into your social media plan.When putting together a social media strategy, focus on the small things to help drive big success. Companies often struggle with the notion of where to begin - especially those companies that sell a large number of products or services. By starting too big, you could be setting yourself up for failure - OR preventing yourself from starting at all.

Here are some social media tactics for starting small:

Set small, incremental goals:
Instead of immediately focusing on using social media to increase sales, focus on increasing your online reach and level of engagement. You need website visitors before you can have leads and sales. Sales will come, but it takes time.

So, rather than only focusing on sales (which will leave you discouraged in the beginning) why not work at achieving small successes along the way. Prove to yourself and management that this stuff works! Social media marketing is a long-term commitment, so you have to mentally prepare yourself for the long journey.

Choose a small group to start with:
Find a select group of early adopters to engage on behalf of your company and take time to educate them on your strategy, goals, expectations and best practices. This small group could be any number of people in your company or organization.

Some important things to look for when selecting your "pilot group" is:

- Their level of expertise and passion on the subject matter
- Their natural ability to connect with people
- Their comfort level with technology

Getting management and colleagues to break old habits and embrace the new rules of social media and inbound marketing can be a challenge. By beginning with a group that increases your likelihood of success, it'll make getting others on board much easier.

Start with a small product or service sampling:
Instead of focusing on every product or service that you offer, select one product or service to begin with. It could be your top selling product or a niche service that you'd like to promote.

Use this as a way to test your process, uncover workflow issues and establish benchmarks from which to measure your success. The goal is to create a framework that allows you to build future social media programs from.

Increase small touchpoints:
Strive to have more frequent, smaller touchpoints with your customers. If it's truly the little things that matter in relationships then why not use social networks to help stay in touch with your customers. Daily or weekly exchanges via a Twitter post, Facebook status update or LinkedIn discussion can be much more powerful than a face-to-face meeting once a year.

When putting together your social media strategy, think big, start small and grow into a plan that will finish with big results. Do you have a large company or product offering that's keeping you from starting a social media plan? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: --Tico-- via Flickr

Topics: LinkedIn, Inbound Marketing, social media marketing, Twitter, Facebook, social media plan, social media strategy